Throughout Oakland County, MI, there are plenty of lawyers to help when you have a legal problem, but not all of them are going to be right for you.
Chapter 552 of the Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) governs divorce. Whether you plan to litigate your divorce to trial or quietly and peacefully mediate your divorce out of court, someone must still file an actual complaint, seeking a court’s approval. This is called the complaint.
Michigan is a pure no-fault state. This means that neither party is required to allege that the other party did something wrong (e.g. cheating, cruelty, abandonment, etc.). Instead, you just have to allege that the marriage is broken and is beyond repair.
If you and your spouse married in Michigan and you have shared a home together for a long time, you should not have to worry about jurisdiction because your county of residence is the appropriate place to file. If there are unique circumstances, you will want to discuss jurisdiction with an attorney. In general:
This may seem clear, but it can get a bit tricky.
Due process is not just a term used in law enforcement or criminal cases. It is a constitutional doctrine that says you have to give people notice and an opportunity to be heard before a court can assert jurisdiction and begin affecting their rights. Once you file the complaint, you will need to have your spouse “served” with a copy. He or she then has 21 days to respond.
One of the most complex and often expensive parts of a divorce is the discovery process. This is where each side exchanges information, records, financial documents, and so forth. It is also when attorneys take depositions and can even subpoena witnesses, like family, friends, and coworkers.
If you and your spouse can not agree and can not negotiate a settlement agreement, your case may have to be decided through a trial. This is a highly public process, and many divorcing couples describe it as traumatic and painful. Nevertheless, if you have no other choice, you want an experienced and devoted litigation attorney by your side.
No attorney can guarantee a perfect outcome or even promise a specific result, but with experience comes the ability to predict with clarity how judges may react to certain things or how well received a particular request may be. If you are worried about your divorce, call Benson & Associates, PLLC today.
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